Best In-Depth Practices for A/B Testing Advertisements
In today’s data rich world, it is not a good idea to make blind business decisions.
This is why marketers cannot simply rely on their preferences or intuition to determine marketing decisions, especially concerning elements that are crucial in encouraging people to click and convert.
Rather than relying on guesswork, successful marketers listen to the results of an A/B test or split test to determine which material would work best and lead to more conversions.
If you’re looking for an in-depth guide on how to conduct A/B testing for your advertisements and other materials, you’re in the right place.
What is A/B Testing?
Some examples of materials that may be tested through this method are email title copy, CTA’s, website banners, advertisements, email blasts, website popups, hero images, and landing pages.
Eventually, a series of A/B tests on different materials will provide you with valuable insights concerning your target market. You can discover the preferred color of a button for a CTA, what style of imagery they like, what cut of a video etc. These tests can even be used to see what product description resonantes with your customers in a way that drives them to purchase! You’ll be able to see where and how it is most prudent to invest your marketing time and budget.
A/B testing also allows you to test out unique or potentially risky campaign ideas on a smaller population before going all-out with a larger audience.
What Does A/B Testing Work On?
- Paid ads (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, etc.)
- Web design
- Individual emails (Follow up emails, personalized emails)
- Email campaigns
- Multimedia marketing strategies
- All sorts of website and ad copy
- CTA buttons
- Color scheme
- Copy (headings, subheadings)
- Special offers
- Product pricing
- CTA button design
- Now that we understand the parameters let’s get to the actual procedure involved in conducting a successful A/B test.a
How to Conduct A/B Testing for Advertisements
Step #1: Identify a problem
Let’s say that your store has plenty of online sales, but only very few of them ever come from your Instagram ads. This is a great place to start your analysis. You can look at your analytics to pinpoint how much you’re spending on your ads versus how much you get from conversions.
For example, if your ad is designed to get people to make a purchase, you wouldn’t want your call to action to read “Learn more”. The same goes for the creative itself, if your ad is about a specific product, you don’t want to have your image portray something general about your company, you want it to be of that specific product.
Keeping your ads in line with your overall brand image and promise helps customers feel like they are not being sold to, but just looking at a new product, style or emotion that they want.
Creating that product pricing and creative quality dissonance helps keep all of your creatives in line, as well as helps keep customers comfortable with the price of your product. If they see a premium ad, they will feel better about paying a premium price.
Step #2: Analyze User Problems
For example, if you run an ad banner and find that people are opening your links but ‘bounce’ once they click through to your website, you might find that there’s a problem somewhere in the customer value journey from your advertisement to your website.
Step #3: Formulate and Test Your Hypothesis
After you’ve formulated a hypothesis, it’s time to test it. Develop a new version of the said test item implementing your idea. For example, the abovementioned ‘Shop Now’ version can be tested by running an A/B test between the existing version and a new one.
Step #4: Analyze and Report Data
For example, if placing your ‘Shop Now’ button at the top of your email or ad banner did not lead to any changes in conversion, you can now proceed to test it in another location. You can test placing it at the middle part to see if engaged readers will click on the button once they’ve read through a part of your email.
Step #5: Find New ‘Challengers’ for Your ‘Champion’
You can then test the champion against other options, called the challengers. Ideally, if you find a challenger that beats your champion, then you’ve found a better way to execute your ads or website materials. If not, then you know your champion works well.
We hope that this simple A/B primer has helped you better understand how the practice works and how essential it can be for any online business.
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